10mm Auto-2

Some time back I tested three bullets weights from Hornady for the 10mm Auto. You can read about that here. With the variety of ammunition for this caliber, I thought it would be a good idea to try out some different rounds.

I secured some more test ammunition and headed back to the range with my Glock 20, chronograph, and ballistic gel to get more data on this round.

10mm Auto-1

Using the exact same testing protocol, we have been using at our previous ballistic testing I was able to get reliable data that is comparable to the other 10mm test.

10mm Auto-5

10mm Auto-6

You may notice a Lonewolf barrel in this photograph. I swapped that barrel when shooting the lead bullet as recommended when shooting lead out of a polygonal barrel. You can read about the Lonewolf barrel test here.

As I have said ballistic gel is not the end all be all say in how a bullet performs but it gives you a good idea on how a bullet acts in a medium that is very similar to human tissue. It also allows you to have a consistent baseline when testing different rounds so you are comparing apples to apples, so to speak.

There is no need for me to rehash everything talked about in the first test if you are curious just follow the link at the top of the page. There is some excellent information as well as the history of the 10mm Auto.



So, here is the updated chart, please click on the chart for a larger version.

10mm Auto-3


The bullets closest to the gel were the ones shot through the cloth.

The first row is the Georgia Arms loaded 155gr Speer Gold Dot.

The second row is the Georgis Arms loaded 180gr Speer gold dots

The third row is the Federal 180gr JHP

The fourth row is the Federal 180gr Hydra Shok

The fifth row is the PMC 180gr JHP

The bottom photo is the Hornady Critical Duty

From left to right, DoubleTap 200gr hard cast, 230gr Equalizer, 180gr Controlled Expansion, 125gr TAC-XP HP. Top row was three layers; bottom row was bare gel.

The Prvi Partizan (PPU) and my reload, as you see by the chart were unrecovered. The wound channel created by the PPU was very similar to one made by a full metal jacket which, in conjunction with complete penetration leads me to believe there was little to no expansion. I expected my reload not to expand as it is a truncated cone solid lead alloy bullet, designed to penetrate. The wound channel from my reload was also similar to one created by a full metal jacket. My reload was a 175gr truncated cone with 8.6gr of IMR 800X. That is a maximum charge for that bullet and propellant and was worked up to using correct reloading protocols. When reloading always start at the initial load and work up from there watching for signs of excessive pressure. Safety first.    You can read the review of that bullet and bullet mold here.

Though almost all rounds performed well, the DoubleTap, Speer Gold Dot, and Hornady bullets seemed to do the best while the Federal Hydra Shok and PMC were at the bottom. The PPU was unacceptable.


10mm Auto-4




DoubleTap Ammunition 





By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

24 thoughts on “10mm Auto ballistic test, updated.”
  1. […] the web today and found a few interesting sites/stories others may be interested in. Cheers! MR 10mm Auto ballistic test, updated. | Range HotRange Hot – Pretty good story on an independent 10mm test @ Magazine | Range HotRange Hot. Also, I found […]

  2. […] I got several email requests to do a ballistic test using a few of the 10mm rounds I have tested in the past. You can see the results of the 10mm Auto ballistic test and compare that data to what I have found here.  Follow this link […]

  3. You list the DoubleTap 200 hardcast as having 100% weight retention, yet your photo of the recovered bullet shows it lost a huge chunk of material…can you clarify?

    1. Hello Hunter and the Rangehot crew! Truly enjoy your videos and articles and bought a Colt Delta Elite 10mm based on your reviews and the two articles here about it. Any thoughts on the Fennix Ammo and some of the Defender rounds Fein Underwood? Thanks again and working on a DW Specialist in 10mm

      1. Thank you very much Marco, I truly appreciate your kind words. I am sorry but I don’t know much about Fennix Ammo. I do favor Defender and DoubleTap ammo for range and self-defense use.

        1. I will keep my eye out if I ran across some, but it gets real expensive real quick trying to cover everything that is available. Fortunately, several manufacturers will donate test ammo and that helps a great deal.

  4. Underwood is my choice for factory full power factory 10mm ammo … They deliver the velocities that they advertise ..

  5. To make one small observation about the interpretation; The results for the Hydrashok should be looked at in perspective .

    It is a Midrange aka Mild load on purpose . It has energy and recoil level akin to a warm .40s&w or std vel .45acp . In context of ” mere ” .40 or .45 performance , the Hydrashok is at least comparable , and more than reasonably adaquate for defense . For some users, at least some of the time , a gentle load still comparable to normal pistols is a good thing .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *